Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 85) Agreed

“Your aunt had it dug out many years ago. With her wealth and all, she wanted to know she could escape unharmed if anyone ever broke into her home.” Carl continues to speak as they walk along the path. “I told her she was nuts, which she agreed to.” Carl laughs at the humor they shared. “She had it done, contracted out, the thing is long as hell but well-lit and comes out right back there at the forest rangers hut, which as you know is halfway to my cabin.” He laughs but then looks around once again in a paranoid fashion. “I’m sorry young lady, but I don’t feel right about leaving you up here alone.”

“Carl, I have to learn to be brave and take care of myself, I have to follow in my aunts shoes.” Nadja states as she tucks loose strands of hair behind her right ear. “But then I called you at the first thought of being followed.” She looks down.

“You don’t have to prove anything to me.” Carl replies.

“No, but I have to prove it to myself.” Nadja says as she fiddles in her pocket for the key. “I know I saw a man walk up the path before Aaron, I’m hoping he is not connected somehow and has continued to move on.”

“Well, if he was ahead of Aaron he was way up there because I never saw him.” Carl says as they round the last bend in the path, enter the fenced in garden, and approach the front door of the cottage.

All of this confuses Nadja for the other man walked past the hut just seconds before Aaron. It was almost as if they were traveling together. How could he have been on the path unnoticed? In her mind, she is telling herself that he was simply looking around or hiking, but the path ends here at the cottage. So where did he go? He would have had to double back which meant they would have run into him at some point, or he is following animal paths that branch out into the woods in all directions.


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